5 Must-Haves We Will Cover:
As VP of Performance Marketing at Ignite Visibility, I spend my time working to optimize various programs.
One of those just so happens to be ecommerce digital marketing. For Ecommerce in particular, I’ve rounded up some practices that are totally necessary if you want to succeed.
From prioritizing your media mix to keeping track of your metrics, these five factors are absolute must-haves if you want to run a profitable digital Ecommerce program and simultaneously grow your business.
1. Know Your Digital Ecommerce Numbers
In order to run a successful digital ecommerce program, you need to know what success means—in a quantifiable way.
But how do you do this?
You need to account for overhead beyond mere ad spend. This means you need to take into consideration things like cost of goods sold (COGS).
At Ignite, we have a projection tool that takes into account several business-side inputs, including:
- Average order value (AOV)
- Gross & net product margins
- Conversion rates
- Auction costs
- & more
These metrics and more help us develop various results that an Ecommerce program might realistically deliver. Plus, we’re able to ensure that all touchpoints and channels are optimized accordingly.
You should check your Ecommerce metrics and KPIs at least monthly, quarterly and yearly. You’ll also want to understand the funnel stages in which they exist.
Here are some other quantifiable measurements to consider:
- Customer retention rate
- Cost per acquisition (CPA)
- Abandonment costs
- Organic acquisition traffic
All in all, you’ll have to collect information on which metrics best serve you. If there’s anything you take from this, it’s to dig much deeper than return on ad spend (ROAS).
2. Know Your Media Mix for Ecommerce Digital Marketing
The idea of running on several different channels feels fancy.
It can make you seem really sophisticated simply because you’re employing numerous media channels in your strategy. It could also be argued that this supports brand lift. But with all that in mind, it’s crucial to understand the law of diminishing returns.
“If one input in the production of a commodity is increased while all other inputs are held fixed, a point will eventually be reached at which additions of the input yield progressively smaller, or diminishing, increases in output.” – Britannica
The law of diminishing returns fits well into performance marketing, including digital ecommerce. If you keep pumping more money into one particular campaign, but your coverage remains the same, you’ll eventually see your conversion rate decrease. Meanwhile, your CPA will go up. Neither of these scenarios is ideal, and if you continue on the same trajectory, your metrics will only get worse.
With this in mind, I recommend working your way into a media mix strategy over time.
Start with channels that maximize returns the most. For example, if Facebook Ads prospecting continues to outperform non-branded search, then don’t force your budget distribution to make these allocations equal. Continue scaling ad spend on Facebook until those funds are better allocated elsewhere.
Of course, you’ll need to sample channels to get a benchmark on CPA for each one. However, you don’t have to go all-in right away. Try different ones out and place your energy (and money) where it serves you best.
3. You Need Ignite’s Top-Performing Ecommerce Channels
There are exceptions to any rule, including which Ecommerce channels are the top performers. For the team here at Ignite, we’ve found that two channels, in particular, deliver the most robust and rewarding results:
- Facebook Ads
- Google Smart Shopping
These two have been the premier channels to help us drive overwhelming results for our digital ecommerce clients.
But there’s a caveat: It’s not in any way, shape or form enough to merely set a budget and let your ads run!
For instance, Facebook requires a team that knows the ins and outs of creative strategy on the platform. They need to be able to answer questions like:
- What creative formats perform best for limited-time offers vs. evergreen content?
- Where should social proof exist in the marketing funnel?
- Should we run more static or video ads?
- What type of event tracking should we be running?
- How should I organize my campaigns?
On the other hand, Google is a bit simpler, but it’s still extremely important to have someone actively managing campaigns.
The key to success for Google Smart Shopping lies within the feed and ratings. If you are currently running Google shopping ads but don’t have an optimized feed or Google reviews, then you’re leaving sales on the table (plain and simple).
You can also combine Google Smart Shopping with Facebook Ads for a seriously powerful solution. How does that work?
Using a cross-channel strategy from top-to bottom-of-the-funnel campaigns, you can:
- Generate awareness and interest at the top with Facebook Ads
- Use Google Smart Shopping in the middle to garner consumer interest
- Use ads on both platforms at the bottom of the funnel to drive home those sales and convert
Ultimately, these two are stellar on their own as well as together.
4. Let Your Site Do the Heavy Lifting
Sure, you can always buy traffic, but should you?
If you’re buying traffic by using clickbait, misleading visitors, confusing navigation to generate more page views and a higher session time, or stealing popular content from elsewhere on the web, then no. Whatever the reason, you really ought to let your website do the heavy lifting. After all, you won’t get very far with scoured traffic.
Your users’ website experience can make or break your entire ecommerce program. Users want to see consistency between their shopping experience and the product’s perceived value.
As you can imagine, even a great product on a terrible site will lead visitors to think you have a terrible product. That’s why Ignite’s digital ecommerce program encompasses a comprehensive approach to conversion rate optimization (CRO). The comprehensive CRO program supports web design, testing, copywriting, creative and more.
5. Include YouTube In Your Digital Ecommerce Strategy
Earlier, I mentioned two of Ignite’s top-performing channels for ecommerce digital marketing: Facebook Ads and Google Smart Shopping.
But I can’t forget one outlier that makes a massive difference. If you want to get your footing and start a profitable program, YouTube has the potential to catapult your brand to the next level.
If you use YouTube properly, it can drive sales and brand authority. When a user sees a video for a product online, they’re 46% more likely to submit a query for the product on their preferred search engine.
In 2021, YouTube boasts:
- An average cost-per-view (CPV) of $0.026
- An average view rate of 31.9%
- An average view click-through rate (CTR) of 0.514%
Bear in mind: YouTube is not the place to test mediocre content. By this point, there are 500 hours of YouTube videos uploaded per minute, so you can imagine it’s futile to try to get anywhere with subpar streaming.
You need to come to the table with a strong content strategy. This means each video requires a well-defined purpose before you even begin filming. (Really, it’s much like any other form of content marketing—even if you’re dealing with ads.)
If you’re ready to put in the time for a YouTube ecommerce digital marketing strategy, I recommend these three ad formats to start:
- Pre-roll ads: These appear directly before a user watches their chosen video. They are short, but can actually last up to two minutes. Most advertisers find that the sweet spot is somewhere between 15–25 seconds.
- TrueView ads: In-stream ads that play in YouTube videos and on video partner sites and apps on the Display Network. There are also TrueView video discovery ads that users discover on YouTube while they browse the channel.
- Bumper ads: “Short, non-skippable video ads of up to 6 seconds that must be watched before a video can be viewed,” according to Google. These are available on desktop, mobile, TV and game consoles.
Wrapping Up Ecommerce Digital Marketing
These must-haves for a profitable digital ecommerce program cover the full-spectrum funnel. Once you find and home in on your creative balance, you can go ahead and focus on targeting.
As a team member myself, I know that those who are interested in learning more about how to concoct creative that really drives action should peep what we’re doing.
Ignite has executed creative strategies that leverage learnings from Harvard Business Review, comScore and Nielsen. This is how we’re able to optimize and develop our creative to maximize user engagement for all clients in the digital ecommerce space.